Art Deco divine

And so I finally made it to the Art Deco exhibition at the NGV in Melbourne. The gallery has certainly pulled out all the stops, with a spectacular temporary display outside and no less effort made inside. But if you can wait to see the exhibition, do so. Or avoid going on a weekend. On Saturday it was rammed with people, making it difficult to see some of the exhibits easily. With a little patience (and a packet of Haigh’s chocolate speckles to keep me going) I was able to see almost everything on display, from jewellery to furniture, clothing to posters, household objects to cars. The exhibition gave a good impression of the style, sensibility and cultural background to Art Deco, with a jazz soundtrack and some ancient film footage of Josephine Baker doing her thang (in nothing but a tutu) as part of le tumulte noir. I didn’t quite feel part of an F Scott Fitzgerald novel but I wasn’t far off.

I discovered I have a bit of a thing for Art Deco architecture (well, I always suspected it, but now it’s confirmed) and was delighted to discover a series of slides showing prominent, and not-so-prominent, examples of Art Deco architecture in Melbourne. Stay tuned for a few shots of my own…

Highlights in the exhibition included the Chanel dresses, the Chinese cheongsam, the Bakelite jewellery, the René Lalique glasses, the Fisk radiolette in green, some of the tea sets and the spectacular Westchester sedan (as seen below, but house not included).

Photo: From the exhibition website, NGV – courtesy of Brian Scott.

The Art Deco exhibition is at the NGV until 5 October 2008. The gallery’s open late on Wednesdays (til 9pm) when you can see the exterior display lit up in all its neon glory. To paraphrase Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour and buy the album – er, see the exhibition.

:: Arwen ::



Filed under Exhibitions

4 responses to “Art Deco divine

  1. I booked a flight for my mum and I to see this. We’re from NSW, so you can see it had appeal. We fly in on a Monday, see it Tuesday and out on Wednesday. I had a bit of a heartstarter last week when I went to be and my mind said: “Now Kate, that gallery is closed one day midweek, which day is it?” I said: “It’s Wednesday, we’re sweet. It’s cool. OK, I’ll check in the morning”. I did check. Its’. Tuesday. I freaked out. I’d already booked tickets and accommodation and spent a very nervous couple of hours waiting for 10am to click over so I could phone the gallery and just check that the exhibition really is open Tuesdays, as suggested on the website, and on the automated phone message. It is. Do you know any different? Anyone? Is there a catch? A secret password for Tuesday viewings?

  2. Guess what… good news! Just for the Art Deco exhibition, NGV International will be open on Tuesdays, 10-5pm. No password necessary. It’s true, I asked them.

    The permanent collection and other galleries will be closed (so you won’t be able to check out Black in Fashion, boo), but from the sound of it there’s enough in Art Deco to keep you there for a couple of hours.

    I’m going on Monday – can’t wait!

    : K :

  3. Pingback: Desiring the Deco « Oh What Larks

  4. What a terrific house that is! Do you know anything about it eg the suburb, the year it was built, who the architect was? I want it for my own home!

    Art and Architecture, mainly

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